Italy tries to convince world's largest steelmaker to stay

ROME — Worried about big job losses, Italy’s government is trying to convince steelmaker ArcelorMittal not to pull out of a deal to acquire a plant in southern Italy.

Premier Giuseppe Conte was meeting Wednesday in Rome with Indian tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and other company executives.

Officially, the world’s largest steelmaker is nixing the Taranto factory deal because Italy reneged on an arrangement to give the company immunity from prosecution for any environmental damage.

Taranto citizens blame the plant for local health problems.

Some 10,700 steelworkers could lose their jobs, most of those in Taranto, a serious blow for Conte’s struggling centre-left coalition.

Union leaders have called a strike at the Taranto plant.

Earlier this year, ArcelorMittal announced production cuts at several European plants due to weak demand and high imports.

The Associated Press